A backstuga (literally “hill cottage”) is a cottage built into the southern slope of a hill, alternatively with a low floor and its walls stretched halfway down into the ground. This phenomenon is known from the early 1600s and was disliked by the government seeing it as a way to evade taxes. Such cottages were typically raised on land useless for farming. Backstugas may have been inhabited by craftsmen, or by those of the peasantry not active in the productive life of the community, such as old people who could no longer work, retired servants and the community destitute who had no relatives to care for them. Nowadays earthen cabins built partially buried in the ground can be rent on Airbnb.
Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia
The world’s largest salt flat at 10,582 square kilometers (4,086 sq mi). It is located in southwest Bolivia, near the crest of the Andes.
Tourlitis Lighthouse, Andros Island, Greece
The Lighthouse was built in 1879 on the rocky islet of Tourlitis in the harbor bay of the city of Andros. The location on an isolated rock is a unique element in Greece. The tower is accessible by stairs excavated in the rock.
Monoliths are geological features consisting of a single massive stone or rock that were formed in prehistoric times by violent eruptions, tectonic shifts or erosion. Here is a list of some of the largest and most recognizable monoliths on the planet.
Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia
Uluru is often referred to as the biggest monolith, but that is generally avoided by geologists. While the surrounding rocks were eroded, the rock survived as sandstone strata making up the surviving Uluru ‘monolith’.
The Baltoro Glacier, at 63 km (39 mi) in length, is one of the longest glaciers outside the polar regions. The glacier gives rise to the Shigar River, which is a tributary of the Indus River. It’s located in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan, home to some of the world’s highest mountains. The glacier runs through part of the region’s Karakoram mountain range, near a mountain known as K2. The trough of this glacier is very wide. Small valley glaciers form ice falls where they meet the trunk glacier. The sidewalls vary from very steep to precipitous. The glacier has carved striations on the surrounding country rocks. Moving ice has formed depressions, which serve as basins for numerous glacial lakes.
Waw an Namus, Oasis of Mosquitoes, is a volcanic field, cone and caldera in southern Libya, deep in the Sahara Desert. The inside of the caldera houses an oasis of rich foliage and three small salt lakes of variable color which are the reason for the volcano’s name. A volcanic field of dark basaltic tephra flow extends 10–20 kilometres (6.2–12.4 mi) around the caldera. The dark field’s vast size allows it to be easily seen from space. Due to the fresh water at the volcano, Waw An-Namus was always an important watering point for the caravans.
By NASA’s Earth Observatory – The Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=86054), CC BY 2.0, Link
Filled with mystery and intrigue, the ancient pyramids have been admired by humans throughout the ages. In modern times the iconic structure of the pyramid has inspired many architectural projects all around the world. The modern day behemoths, mostly built from glass and steel, are employed as architectural statement pieces.